A six-month-old foetus was recovered from the washroom of an AirAsia plane after it landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) from Guwahati on Wednesday afternoon. According to police, cabin crew found the foetus after landing and raised an alarm.
A 19-year-old taekwondo player, who initially denied being the mother, later admitted to it after she was questioned by police, said a senior police officer.
DCP (Airport) Sanjay Bhatia said the AirAsia flight manager informed them about the discovery of a foetus in the washroom of the plane. “The flight, I5-784, had originated from Imphal and landed at T-3 of IGIA around 3.30 pm. After receiving the call, police rushed to the spot and questioned the woman. She had boarded the plane in Guwahati and delivered a premature dead foetus. We have sent the foetus for post-mortem and the woman has been sent for a medical examination at Safdarjung Hospital, where she is recuperating,” Bhatia said.
Sources said the woman, who hails from Assam, was travelling along with her woman coach. The coach told police that she was not aware of the 19-year-old’s pregnancy. The woman did not disclose it in documents she had filed before the flight.
“She informed us that the woman was supposed to travel to South Korea on Thursday for a tournament. We are verifying the claims,” said the officer.
While it is suspected that the foetus was five-six months old, only the autopsy can confirm the exact gestational age, the officer added. As per police sources, the incident came to light when the cabin crew was conducting a routine check of the washroom and found the foetus wrapped in toilet paper.
“The cabin crew members told us that the woman had last visited the washroom and she had asked for tissue after coming out. After recovering the foetus, the staff immediately approached her, but she denied it, following which they alerted the Air Traffic Control (ATC),” the officer said.
In a statement, AirAsia said, “A newborn infant was found lifeless and abandoned in one of the lavatories when the aircraft was being prepared for landing. Delhi Police were alerted and a doctor from the medical team at Delhi International Airport confirmed that the baby had been delivered onboard.”
The matter has been reported to the DGCA, the airline said. “We will be assisting in the investigation and cooperating with all agencies concerned. AirAsia India would like to apologise to all guests experiencing disruptions in their flight schedule,” it added.